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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1726 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: In the course of question time the Chief Minister suggested that there had been some failing on the part of my government, or me as Attorney-General, to commission or to properly fund an inquiry-

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, would you just stop there please. I anticipated this personal explanation. I also anticipated that there will be challenges to and fro in respect of what one government did and what one opposition did, and that there may well be attempts by people to try to explain the situation under standing order 46. Standing order 46 is pretty clear in its intent and it states:

Having obtained leave from the Chair, a Member may explain matters of a personal nature ...

I do not really think that the affairs of the former government, as they are discussed in the hurly-burly of debate here, are matters of a personal nature. I do not want to inhibit your ability to respond about how you feel in relation to whatever the former government did. But I suggest to you that the best way to deal with this is either to raise it during the adjournment debate or to somehow find a way to get leave or to suspend standing orders in order to make some sort of comment.

I just do not think it is appropriate to discuss this in the context of a matter of a personal nature. If Mr Stanhope had said to you that you did so and so and you were responsible for that, I would accept your wish to make a personal explanation. But I just think it is stretching it a bit to go to government issues and what might have been or might not have been done by governments in the past. So if you have got something personal to talk about, I am happy to give you leave to do so but I am not happy to give you leave to talk about the politics of events.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, if that is your ruling, I will accept it. I put to you that I was the person responsible in the government for those things, so it is a personal reflection on me. But if that remains your ruling, that is fine-I am happy to accept it.

MR SPEAKER: If you can deal with it within a personal context, I am happy to-

MR HUMPHRIES: I intend to deal with it entirely within a personal context, Mr Speaker.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: the comment I made, the statement I made, was that I went to the then Chief Minister-which was not Mr Humphries; it was Mrs Carnell-and I had an arrangement, an understanding, with Mrs Carnell that we would agree to certain legislation on the proviso that a sunset clause was inserted, and that during the term of that an inquiry would be conducted into assisted reproductive technology. All I said was that that undertaking was not kept. There is no report today on assisted reproductive technology and there will not be before the sunset clause kicks in. The comment I made was in relation to a discussion I had with the then Chief Minister. It had nothing to do with Mr Humphries, nor did my comment.

MR SPEAKER: I think rubbing it in does not help.

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